Carbon Rims and Braking Stopping Power

MTB carbopn rims

What is braking performance like with carbon wheels?

A huge part of racing success and safety is the ability for the rider to stop a bike effectively and efficiently. Riding in a peloton requires feathering the brakes for drafting and abrupt stops to avoid a crash ahead. Descending presents its own unique braking needs, as the fastest descenders minimize scrubbing speed, but when they need to, it’s crucial their brakes work so they don’t overshoot a turn. Even triathletes and time trialists need solid stopping power for sharp turns, road obstacles, and other occurrences.

Rim Brakes

A longtime concern about all-carbon rimmed wheels is their braking power. When rim brakes were the main type of braking system on high-end bikes and the UCI outlawed disc brakes, the concern was even greater. This is because a rim brake works by having a caliper with pads that squeezes against the surface of the rim.
When this pad comes into contact with carbon, there is a concern about the amount of friction needed to stop and the corresponding wear and heat upon the rim. One option is to create a carbon wheel with aluminum brake to provide the pad a non-carbon contact point. This prevents wear of the brake track, but it does not fully alleviate the heat concerns. However, recent development in carbon technologies allow for all carbon rims that can be used in combination with rim brakes as long as the brake pads are specifically designed for carbon rims. This new carbon resists wear and better handles heat. Some riders, including Chris Froome and other pros, still prefer rim brakes for rapid in-competition wheel changes and fewer problems with disc brake rub because of misalignment. Rim brakes typically are shown to be more aerodynamic in wind tunnel tests, as a bonus. However, more and more bike manufactures are moving towards disc brakes, which means wheel manufacturers must follow.

Disc Brakes

The newest trend in braking allows riders to stop without a brake pad having to touch the rim. Disc brakes, instead, have a metal rotor that is at the center of the wheel, connected to the hub.
The pressure of a piston is applied to this metal disc instead of the rim surface, in order to provide braking power. This alleviates concerns about rim wear and overheating issues (see safety section below for more on rim overheating). They also stop a rider faster than a rim brake. This is especially true when conditions are wet. The UCI and other governing bodies now allow for disc brakes in competition. Disc brakes offer greater stopping power, which can be helpful on long descents, and they allow for more precise braking, making wheel lockup less likely. It’s also easier to use wider tires with disc brakes and the frame is the only limiter, not the brake caliper width capabilities.

YaseBike offer both rim and disc brake versions of each of our carbon models in order to serve the full-spectrum of cyclists. Whether you prefer rim or disc brakes, we have a wheel that matches your exact needs. We offer brake pads for use with rim brakes with our carbon wheels. We've developed these pads to work in harmony with our carbon for optimal stopping power in wet and dry conditions with minimal wheel wear. Each of our disc brake wheels comes ready to use with your preferred centerlock rotor.

Post time: Nov-24-2022